The famous Pole Star lies less than one degree from the Northern Celestial Pole,
and so always lies north from an Earth-bound observer's point of view. Its name comes
from Latin, Stella Polaris, meaning simply 'Pole Star'. Its alternative
and much rarer name, Cynosura, comes from the Greek for 'tail of the dog'.
As the Earth turns on its axis, the stars in the sky seem to turn around the
Northern Celestial Pole. This image shows the paths traced by the
stars as the swarm around the Pole over
a period of eight hours. As the nearest brightstar to the
Pole, Polaris appears as the small
bright crescent in the centre of the image.